For Immediate Release: June 22, 2011
By Katherine H. Crawford, Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va.—U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine has recognized the Office of Naval Research as a 2011 Top Supporter of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), a distinction marked at a ceremony on June 11 in Orlando.
“America’s future in the global marketplace depends heavily on the development of students from minority-serving institutions, which are dedicated to producing top scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians,” the publishers said in a news release. “Competition in the new global marketplace demands that we develop top talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. We applaud the efforts of the 2011 top supporters for their commitment to minority institutions.”
The recognition reflects ONR’s active support of HBCU initiatives, particularly those related to research and STEM education, ONR officials said. ONR and the Department of the Navy are dedicated to attracting young people of all backgrounds to increase the talent pool of future Sailors and naval scientists and engineers.
“Our efforts to make a difference are being positively viewed by the minority institutions (MI) that we’re trying to impact,” said Dr. Anthony Junior, ONR’s HBCU/MI and education programs manager. “The award confirms that ONR’s strategic direction to increase their participation in STEM and our basic and applied research programs is on the right path.”
Career Communications Group, which publishes U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine, surveyed the engineering school deans of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology-accredited HBCU and Minority Institutions to find which organizations they believed best supported their schools’ missions. The deans considered these factors: support for infrastructure modernization and enhancement, research, participation on advisory councils, faculty development opportunities, scholarships, student projects, stipends, co-ops and career opportunities.
ONR began its relationship with HBCUs in 1985 through research funding. In 1989, a dedicated program was established to support undergraduate and graduate students at five institutions. By 1994, ONR’s annual awards to HBCU/MIs grew to $10 million.
Through the remainder of that decade to 2002, ONR funded STEM education programs at 22 HBCU/MIs providing educational support to hundreds of students, 90 percent of whom graduated on time with degrees in science and engineering with 80 percent continuing on to receive master’s degrees. In addition, ONR has continued its support for basic and applied research at these institutions, averaging $20 million annually.
About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.